Food Security, Gender and Resilience Improving Smallholder and Subsistence Farming
Through the integration of gender analysis into resilience thinking, this book shares field-based research insights from a collaborative, integrated project aimed at improving food security in subsistence and smallholder agricultural systems. The scope of the book is both local and multi-scalar. The gendered resilience framework, illustrated here with detailed case studies from semi-arid Kenya, is shown to be suitable for use in analysis in other geographic regions and across disciplines. The book examines the importance of gender equity to the strengthening of socio-ecological resilience. Case studies reflect multidisciplinary perspectives and focus on a range of issues, from microfinance to informal seed systems.
The book’s gender perspective also incorporates consideration of age or generational relations and cultural dimensions in order to embrace the complexity of existing socio-economic realities in rural farming communities. The issue of succession of farmland has become a general concern, both to farmers and to researchers focused on building resilient farming systems. Building resilience here is shown to involve strengthening households’ and communities’ overall livelihood capabilities in the face of ongoing climate change, global market volatility and political instability.
1. Introduction: Gender, Food Security and Resilience in Kenya
Leigh Brownhill and Esther M. Njuguna
2. A Participatory and Integrated Agricultural Extension Approach to Enhancing Farm Resilience through Innovation and Gender Equity
Lutta W. Muhammad, Immaculate N. Maina, Bernard Pelletier, and Gordon M. Hickey
3. Exploring the Relationships between Gender, Social Networks and Agricultural Innovation in Two Smallholder Farming Communities in Machakos County, Kenya
Colleen M. Eidt, Gordon M. Hickey, and Bernard Pelletier
4. Land to Feed My Grandchildren: Grandmothers’ Challenge to Access Land Resources in Semi-Arid Kenya
June Y. T. Po and Zipporah Bukania
5. Gendered Food and Seed Producing Traditions for Pearl Millet (Pennisetum glaucum) and Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) in Tharaka-Nithi County, Kenya
Megan Mucioki, Timothy Johns, and Samuel Kimathi Mucioki
6. Banking on Change: An Ethnographic Exploration into Rural Finance as a Gendered Resilience Practice among Smallholders
Carly James and June Y.T. Po
7. Nested Economies: Gendered Small-livestock Enterprise for Household Food Security
Leigh Brownhill, Esther M. Njuguna, Erick Mungube Ouma, Malo Nzioka, and Esther Kihoro
8. Women Second: Reflecting on Gendered Resilience within Formal Regulatory Policies for Forest-based Livelihood Activities in Kenya
Stephanie Shumsky, Kimberly L. Bothi, Elizabeth Nambiro, and Patrick Maundu
9. Accountability and Citizen Participation in Devolved Agricultural Policy-making: Insights from Makueni County, Kenya
Leigh Brownhill, Tony Moturi, and Gordon M. Hickey
10. The Resilience Umbrella: A Conceptual Tool for Building Gendered Resilience in Agricultural Research, Practice and Policy
Leigh Brownhill and Esther M. Njuguna
"Each of this volume's ten essays is part of an umbrella project of McGill University and the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization. Collectively, the works weave a common theme about the intersection of agro-trends in developing countries, resilience in an environment of general food scarcity, and the dynamics of gender as a marker in such an environment. The essays further explore the latter two themes, asking to what extent and how women’s roles and activities in the food production chain reinforce resilience, and how such a force can be strengthened by enhancing various aspects of gender dynamics to further build and grow the chain. The discussion of these qualitative studies is understandably quite dense, with the focus less on agricultural practice per se, and more on the sociology and anthropology of agricultural interactions, some concentrated (seed gathering and preservation and small livestock enterprises), some diffuse (financial and regulatory schemes), but all focusing on how gender plays a role in building resilience in a relatively food-scarce environment. This work is recommended for advanced students and specialists and will be a nice addition to collections in anthropology, gender studies, and rural sociology.
Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above; faculty and professionals."
L. S. Cline, Missouri State University - CHOICE